Thursday, July 9, 2009

Baby Poison Blue Dart Frogs

By Kate Gore, Reptile House keeper

The Reptile House has three new additions - baby Poison blue dart frogs (Dendrobates azureus). The egg mass containing the 3 was found on the 7th of May. They were full tadpoles as of the 24th of May, and began metamorphosing on the 25th of June. The baby frogs are being fed fruit flies exclusively, and when they are a bit bigger, they will also eat small crickets.

(Metamorphosis In Brief:

The eggs are laid in jellylike masses, usually our egg masses contain 4-8 eggs. The eggs hatch into tadpoles who live in the "jelly" surrounding their egg. After a few weeks, the tadpoles are moved to a little container of water where they grow in size, usually doubling or tripling in size, after a month of growth they start developing back legs, and within a few weeks they develop their front legs. We then put the froglets, as they are now known, into small tanks with a low level of water and gravel to crawl out on. And, in a few weeks, their tail shortens and eventually disappears, at which point they are now called frogs, and moved into a tank with land and water. )

We have 3 adult blue dart frogs on exhibit--judging by their sizes, there are two females and one male. If you look at the exhibits, you might see what looks like coconut halves on the ground; these are, in fact, hollowed out coconuts with little dishes partially filled with water inside. The "houses" give the frogs privacy in which to lay their eggs. In the wild, these frogs would use anything in which water has collected to lay their eggs--even trash!

2 comments:

  1. These little frogs are easily recognized by their blue color, which is generally much darker on the limbs and stomach and overlaid with black spots or patches, especially on the head and back.

    As their name implies, poison dart frogs can release toxins from the skin that are distasteful and potentially lethal to would-be predators. Three very toxic species of poison dart frogs from Colombia and South America are utilized by Indians to poison the tips of blowgun darts.

    Blue poison dart frogs are active during the day and can be found hiding among boulders and debris near streams; however, they lack toe webbing and are poor swimmers, so they are never found in the water.

    Brian R. Callahan
    Anaheim, California

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  2. i love poison dart frogs tbh there really sassy alos there the bomb and did I mention that I love them?

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